Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Stephen Gent


CFD, computational fluid dynamics, DUNE, impurity, neutrino, passive scalar


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of the ProtoDUNE single-phase detector were developed, refined, and analyzed. The ProtoDUNE single-phase detector is a prototype detector that is part of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, an international research collaboration aimed at better understanding neutrinos and the role they play in our universe. The ProtoDUNE single-phase detector is used to gather data and inform design changes for the full-sized far detector prior to its construction. The effects of certain geometric features and heat sources on the thermal profiles within the liquid region of the detector were investigated in a set of parametric studies. The results of the simulations were compared with temperature sensor data from each of the two temperature monitors in the physical system, the Valencia and Hawaii monitors. In particular, the effects of the inlet temperatures, the field cage heat generation, and the structural support system for the Valencia temperature monitor in the detector were investigated. Iteration-averaged, normalized, passive scalar impurity results of the liquid region from each of these parametric studies were computed and analyzed. A CFD model of the detector’s ullage region was also developed, and preliminary temperature and impurity results were noted and analyzed. In the liquid region, it was found that a 0.3 K temperature increase, a 200 W/m3 field cage heat source, and the addition of the Valencia monitor’s structural support improved agreement between experimental and simulated temperature results along the Valencia monitor. The ullage simulations showed that most impurities exit the detector through the feedthroughs at the top of the ullage space prior to entering the liquid region and that the primary source of impurities within the detector comes from the largest port, the GAr combo. The results from these simulations will assist other DUNE collaborators in understanding the impurity distribution within the ProtoDUNE-SP neutrino detector and will help to inform design decisions in future neutrino detectors.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computational fluid dynamics.
Neutrino interactions.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright